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BMW's production i8 hybrid makes world premiere


September 11, 2013

i8 will be available in four exterior colours and have four interior configuration options (Photo: Gizmag.com)

i8 will be available in four exterior colours and have four interior configuration options (Photo: Gizmag.com)

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Gizmag has been following the development of BMW’s forward looking i8 for years. Now the fruits of that development labor have been revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show with BMW finally de-cloaking the production version of the sporty plug-in hybrid.

The i8 is the second car launched under the company's "i" sub-brand, which grew from the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept exercise.

After several revisions and updates, the i8’s still makes an impressive visual statement, especially for a hybrid. The body is less futuristic than the glassy concept versions, but has retained key BMW genetics. On profile the car very much sports 6-series influences, with the exception of longer overhangs front and rear, and those floating roof wings.

Design aspects aside, the i8’s mandate is that of a performance hybrid, much in the same vein as Porsche’s 918 but at far lower price point.

Sporting a 1.5 liter turbocharged engine of only three cylinders, the i8 is capable of taking down serious performance machines thanks to the addition of an electric motor delivering 131 hp and 184 lb.ft of torque to the front wheels. All in all the i8 develops 362 hp and 420 lb.ft of torque, which translates into the best of both worlds – 113 mpg (2.5 liter/100 km) mileage figures coupled with a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 4.4 seconds.

The i8 retains its original five drive modes and BMW still reports a range of 310 miles (500 km) in Comfort Mode. The i8 will be available in four exterior paint finishes and four interior options.

The price for the i8 is will reportedly be US$135,700 when it hits US shores in the spring of 2014.

Check Gizmag’s gallery for our first up close look at the production i8.

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. With an education in automotives and marketing, Angus has rebuilt the carburetor on his 1963 Rambler Ambassador twice, gotten a speeding ticket in an F430 once, and driven & photographed everything from Lamborghinis to Maseratis to various German and Asian designs. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine. All articles by Angus MacKenzie

Just when I could afford one I find that I would have difficulty getting in to it - and impossible to get out.


For that price tag you could buy a Tesla S and a Volt for longer trips! Tell me when BMW makes something good...


Just when I was about to say BMW finally produced something that looks awesome, drives smart, and economical, they screw it up with a stupid price tag.

Samer Helmy
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